Friday 21 December 2012

The Winter Solstice at Hawker's Pot

 Ode to the Declining Sun

“O Sun!  with what words shall I describe
Thy majestic sinking through the skies?
Shall I say, with clouds all girt around,
Thou layest thy head on the dark ground,
All wearied and foredone,
O Sun?”

(Thus spake the poet on Heathmoor’s Head
Gazing at the sunset’s red.)

“Or, that sinking to the West
Thou takest thy rest
Among the gleaming cloudbanks?”

(And the Sun on the horizon said:
“No thanks.”) 

Friday 14 December 2012

A Brush with Death, or


Death with a Brush.

Poets with their latest breath
Speak fearfully of dusty death.

Not dusty now, for round the tomb
Here comes Death pushing his broom.

Some dream of skeletons that clasp
Fainting maidens in their grasp.

But  Death has other things in mind:
It is their besoms his fingers find.

The rich man in his palace,
The poor man in his hovel,
Death will find out every one
And sweep them on his shovel.

And lo! as, sat in triumph, I
Grow pale as Death comes sweeping by,

And, in the sickbed’s midnight hush,
Hear Death approach pushing his brush.

Both meek and strong, so fare we all
To God’s small acre.
Where Death shall take away our care.
(He is the caretaker.)

Next Week: Death and the Midden

Thursday 6 December 2012

A Certain Kind of Postcard

Algernon Swift develops a series of suggestive postcards and sells them at the market.  However, his customers are disgruntled to find printed on them dark and hazy images of looming and obscure shapes.  “Why!” says Swift, when they complain, “this one is suggestive of gloom, and this of nervous anticipation, and this of horror and uncertainty.”
Reverend Hawker is a man of the world and has encountered a certain kind of French postcard.  He reminds Swift that his postcards should at least feature a scantily clad female.  Swift takes his advice but the photographic studio he employs produces a series of pictures in which the model is too close to the camera or too distant, is always out of focus and draped in heavy shadow, and all one can make out are strips of glimmering flesh.
Swift is delighted.  
“This one is suggestive of moonlight in a lonely chasm!” he exclaims, “and this one of a continental breakfast, and this one of the swelling sails of yachts!” 
Reverend Hawker gives up on his charge and retires to the library to read a pornographic novel where everybody keeps their clothes on, nobody touches, and long pages are given over to descriptions of gardening.


Don’t forget, the Hawker’s Pot suitcase of postcards will be at the Shambles (weather permitting) on Stroud Goodwill Evening tomorrow (Friday December 7th)
and back at Modern Leisure Maker’s Market at Badbrook Hall on Saturday and Sunday (8th and 9th December).
Also, from today a selection of Hawker’s Pot postcards are available to buy from the Star Anise Arts Cafe on Bath Street, Stroud. (Thank you, Nicholas Allan!)